WE WISH, we wish...
1) That HOUSING FIRST would end the need for any (temporary) shelter stay over 6 months. (HEAR THAT POLITICIANS?)
2) That all authorities and social services, including the United Way Run hot lines that do intake when people need emergency housing, WOULD STOP DEFINING "CHRONIC HOMELESSNESS' as a mere six months. Six months is nothing. A wait to get into a shelter can be years and many shelter programs also take YEARS to provide vouchers or other housing options. (Some of us do not think of ourselves as homeless once in a shelter to housing transitional program.)
3) That COLD WEATHER SHELTERS in cities with huge homeless populations such as LOS ANGELES would be open ALL YEAR LONG, since there are WAIT LISTS for housing programs, and people who stay at them all winter fear the closing date (usually mid March) when they will have to sleep rough. Instead of being called COLD WEATHER SHELTERS they should be called SAFETY SHELTERS. (And your safety there should be a priority)
4) That no shelter or program would get any money or credit for their INTAKE NUMBERS. Intake stats often have nothing to do with the numbers of people they help.
5) That shelters that make "clients" or "residents" SIGN a CONTRACT WITH THEM would also SIGN A LEGAL CONTRACT THAT THEY WILL GET HOUSING for that"client" or "resident." and in a specific number of months. (It's usually totally one sided.)
6) That no LUXURY APARTMENT BUILDINGS be built within Los Angeles County, until there is a low income apartment for every low income resident! In this city thousands live in abusive relationships, have sex with people they don't really like, sofa hop between a half dozen friends, are crammed into illegal housing and car garages and even STORAGE UNITS, all so they can avoid actually being on the street, and many are working but do not make enough to live in even a small single apartment. (We know someone who continued to work as a secretary while living under a freeway underpass in a tent city.)
7) That any employee of a shelter or nonprofit that gets caught having sex with a "client" or "resident", is sexually harassing, commits fraud or encourages that homeless person to commit fraud in order to get government benefits, especially under threat of being kicked out, or who embezzles funds not just be fired, BUT BE CHARGED WITH THE CRIME, GO THROUGH A TRIAL, and GO TO PRISON WHEN CONVICTED. (TAKE THE HINT LA FAMILY HOUSING)
8) That all CASE MANAGERS dealing with the homeless have to actually try sleeping rough in a park and in uncomfortable vehicles for a week or two as part of their TRAINING. They'll know it's only temporary which isn't the same as a homeless experience, but it might make them think twice about throwing people out or teach them some empathy.
9) That SHELTERS FOR SINGLE PEOPLE without dependents and shelters for people who've always been law abiding and clean living be established. If you're a single mother with children you're always a priority when it comes to funds. If you're a drug addict there are funds. Single people and people who've been law abiding and clean living are the LEAST SERVED and our society has changed. Millions are now never married.
10) That those who GIVE to charity thoroughly investigate any non-profit they wish to give to.
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